Concert at Tarella in Wentworth Falls

Shane Lestideau, artistic director and violinist of Evergreen Ensemble. Photo by Louisa Jones

Shane Lestideau, artistic director and violinist of Evergreen Ensemble. Photo by Louisa Jones

On June 12 Evergreen Ensemble will return to the Blue Mountains for a unique concert of 18th and 19th century Scottish-Australian music played on period instruments.

The concert features the voice of mezzo-soprano Allegra Giagu and renowned Scottish musicians David McGuinness (early keyboards) and Aaron McGregor (baroque fiddle).

The ensemble has previously toured twice to the mountains, launching the album Snow in Summer in October 2018 and also with guest flautist Chris Norman in 2016.

The June program, entitled Curious Caledonians, explores music collections from Sydney Living Museums originally brought to Australia by Scottish immigrants.

The sounds of Scottish baroque, classical and folk repertoire common to 18th and 19th century domestic music-making will be brought to life using instruments from the period. Haunting love songs and lively dance sets will be accompanied by amusing and informative anecdotes about the histories of the pieces.

Shane Lestideau, artistic director of Evergreen Ensemble, has taken the group from strength to strength since its Australian debut in 2014.

The latest chapter in the group's achievements is a double recording contract with ABC Classics to release two albums in 2019. The first, One Hundred Days Away, was recorded last march in Canberra and the second, Curious Caledonians, was recorded at the ABC studios in Sydney prior to the tour. It features two celebrated early music specialists, Neal Peres da Costa and Daniel Yeadon, as well as David McGuinness and Aaron McGregor.

Shane was granted the 2019 National Folk Fellowship to study the Scottish music collections of the National Library of Australia. Her research guided the selection of pieces recorded in One Hundred Days Away. Many of the songs tell stories of loves lost and nostalgia for a distant home in Scotland (which took 100 days to reach by boat). The album will be officially launched in November, but pre-launch copies will be available for purchase during the Curious Caledonians tour of NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Evergreen Ensemble play on Wednesday, June 12 at 3pm at Tarella, Blaxland Road, Wentworth Falls, home of the Blue Mountains Historical Society.